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Alcaicería in Granada

Page updated 12th February 2024

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ALCAICERÍA: former silk market, now narrow streets with souvenir shops

This is now taken up with souvenir shops but it was once a great bazaar where silk was made and sold after Emperor Justinian granted the Moors permission to sell silk. ALCAICERÍA literally means either the "house of Caesar" or "belonging to Caesar". Traditionally these bazaars were situated in the centre of a city, with inns where the merchants could stay, and with gates at all the entrances to guard against looting and which were closed at night. The narrow streets inside were then patrolled by watchmen.

On the night of the 19th July 1843, a fire broke out in one of the shops making matches in nearby Calle Mesones and consequently the entire original bazaar burned down. It was soon rebuilt but never regained its importance as a bazaar.